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Nuts & Bolts of Writing Science Fiction Short Stories #3: Making Unreality Ring True (Nuts & Boltts of Writing Science Fiction Short Stories)

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All fiction is about merging unreality with an illusion of reality. Even the most mundane mainstream fiction is the same way: however real the characters may feel, they are nothing more than ink on a page or pixels on a screen. Science fiction takes this problem and magnifies it. If you’re writing about three-headed aliens from the planet Thurbydocx, how do you do it with All fiction is about merging unreality with an illusion of reality. Even the most mundane mainstream fiction is the same way: however real the characters may feel, they are nothing more than ink on a page or pixels on a screen. Science fiction takes this problem and magnifies it. If you’re writing about three-headed aliens from the planet Thurbydocx, how do you do it without inadvertently making your readers laugh? What if you’re writing about a hyperdrive fueled by necroxium drained from the brains of condemned criminals? Not that your problems need to be that bizarre. Only a handful of people have ever experienced the gravity to be found on a lunar base, and nobody has ever hiked across the red sands of Mars. If we want our readers to suspend disbelief and immerse themselves in our fictional worlds, how do we do it? As it turns out, there are a number of tricks, ranging from doing something sort-of equivalent on Earth, to searching the scientific literature for the type of details that bring it to life. As with other e-books in this series, Richard A. Lovett, one of the most prolific contributors in the history of Analog science fiction magazine, and winner of a record number of “Anlab” (reader’s choice) awards, breaks it down into simple rules, illustrated with real-world examples. And, as a veteran journalist as well as a science fiction writer, he supplements it all with advice from other writers, making it another must-read for writers of all abilities.


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All fiction is about merging unreality with an illusion of reality. Even the most mundane mainstream fiction is the same way: however real the characters may feel, they are nothing more than ink on a page or pixels on a screen. Science fiction takes this problem and magnifies it. If you’re writing about three-headed aliens from the planet Thurbydocx, how do you do it with All fiction is about merging unreality with an illusion of reality. Even the most mundane mainstream fiction is the same way: however real the characters may feel, they are nothing more than ink on a page or pixels on a screen. Science fiction takes this problem and magnifies it. If you’re writing about three-headed aliens from the planet Thurbydocx, how do you do it without inadvertently making your readers laugh? What if you’re writing about a hyperdrive fueled by necroxium drained from the brains of condemned criminals? Not that your problems need to be that bizarre. Only a handful of people have ever experienced the gravity to be found on a lunar base, and nobody has ever hiked across the red sands of Mars. If we want our readers to suspend disbelief and immerse themselves in our fictional worlds, how do we do it? As it turns out, there are a number of tricks, ranging from doing something sort-of equivalent on Earth, to searching the scientific literature for the type of details that bring it to life. As with other e-books in this series, Richard A. Lovett, one of the most prolific contributors in the history of Analog science fiction magazine, and winner of a record number of “Anlab” (reader’s choice) awards, breaks it down into simple rules, illustrated with real-world examples. And, as a veteran journalist as well as a science fiction writer, he supplements it all with advice from other writers, making it another must-read for writers of all abilities.

5 review for Nuts & Bolts of Writing Science Fiction Short Stories #3: Making Unreality Ring True (Nuts & Boltts of Writing Science Fiction Short Stories)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Josh English

    More clear and concise writiig advice Lovett continues this series with practical writing advice with concrete examples and anecdotes. These quick reads are well worth keeping in your writing library.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    Writing with authority In his third writing essay, Lovett tackles ways to make your speculative ideas more concrete and authoritative. As before, he backs his points up with good examples.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jovan

    Here are the tips I learned 1. Write what you know 2. Know what it is that you do and don't know. 3. Make good use of details. Here are the tips I learned 1. Write what you know 2. Know what it is that you do and don't know. 3. Make good use of details.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Glen Goodrum

  5. 5 out of 5

    C.

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